Heart Palpitations

Also known as: heart flutter, heart pounding, heart racing

What are ​Heart Palpitations?

When someone can actually feel the beat of the heart inside their chest, and the sensation feels like the heart is beating too fast, skipping a beat, fluttering or pounding, this is known as heart palpitations. The majority of heart palpitations are not serious.


What causes heart palpitations? 

Palpitations can be caused by stress, anxiety or other strong emotions. Some people get them during or after exercise or while pregnant. Caffeine, nicotine and other drugs both legal and illegal can lead to palpitations. In some cases, palpitations are related to more serious medical conditions, such as an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia).


What are the symptoms of heart palpitations? 

The racing heartbeat, fluttering, missed beat, etc. felt are usually regarded as a symptom. More serious palpitations might include symptoms like shortness of breath, dizziness, chest pain or fainting.


What are heart palpitation care options? 

If a palpitation is bothersome or accompanied by more serious symptoms, the individual should seek medical care. Treatment will vary based on the underlying condition that is causing the palpitation.

Reviewed by: Jack Wolfsdorf, MD, FAAP

This page was last updated on: 6/12/2018 1:23:09 PM

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07/05/2018 — In this news story Dr. Kristine Guleserian, renowned heart surgeon, talk about Exparel. Exparel is a new anesthesia offering that helps cardiac patients recover faster and with less pain after heart surgery. 13 year-old Jessica Garcia, born with a congenital heart defect (VSD) was the first pediatric patient to use this treatment.
New anesthesia offering helps cardiac patients recover faster and with less pain
07/05/2018 — In this news story Dr. Kristine Guleserian, renowned heart surgeon, talk about Exparel. Exparel is a new anesthesia offering that helps cardiac patients recover faster and with less pain after heart surgery. 13 year-old Jessica Garcia, born with a congenital heart defect (VSD) was the first pediatric patient to use this treatment.

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Redmond Burke, MD is the Director of Cardiovascular Surgery at Nicklaus Children's Hospital.